Albemarle County Parks and Recreation announced that the swimming beach at Mint Springs Park will be closed from June 30 until further notice for this swim season due to staffing shortages, and will return to normal operating schedule as soon as possible. The county noted that Walnut Creek and Chris Greene lake will be open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The county has been advertising to hire lifeguards at its parks and pools since the spring, but faces a nationwide shortfall of qualified applicants as most CPR-certified guards were not able to work during the pandemic and many allowed their two-year certifications to lapse. While Albemarle is offering a $15 per hour wage and reimbursement of certification costs, Charlottesville is upping the ante by also offering a $250 signing bonus for qualified applicants. The lifeguard drought may continue, as Red Cross CPR certification courses in the area do not have openings until the end of July.